VERONA, NJ – The Verona Board of Education approved a $32.8 million budget for the 2016/2017 school year at its meeting on Tuesday.

For the average home in Verona assessed at $361,700, the budget reflects an increase of $178 in taxes this year.

Superintendent Rui Dionisio noted the challenge the budget process presents each year and said that the district had done its best to respond to feedback to provide the best support possible for Verona’s students.

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“Last fall we conducted a ‘needs assessment’ and we are excited that may of the things that were seen as definite needs in order to keep supporting our students were able to be built into the budget,” Dionisio said.

According to Business Adminstrator Cheryl Nardino, Verona received less than $1 million in state aid, so the district is making the best of what it’s been given. 

Included in the budget are:

  • Additional special education staff at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School
  • Additional staff for the vocal and band programs at VHS in response to increased enrollment
  • 65 Google Chromebooks
  • An update of computer labs at VHS
  • Addition of AP Physics class at VHS
  • Addition of AP Principals of Computer Science  class at VHS
  • Addition of AP Microeconomics class at VHS
  • Increased funding for the hockey and lacrosse programs at VHS

“Every year it (the budget process) gets harder and harder, and certainly with the limitations of 2 percent cap it becomes difficult especially when we are trying to continue to advance the district,” Dionsio said. “I’d just liked to credit the board for their countless hours of work  on the budget this year and Ms. Nardino. We are very proud of everything we are doing here in Verona and we want to continue to sustain that success.”